Academy Statement: Over-the-Counter Devices
The American Academy of Audiology recognizes that “over-the-counter device initiatives” could increase access and potentially decrease stigmas and barriers for consumers seeking assistance for hearing loss. However, the audiologist plays an important role in successful evaluation and treatment of an individual with hearing loss. As well, audiologists provide guidance to the consumer on determining if an over-the-counter hearing aid or other amplification products can offer the best results for hearing loss treatment. We are supportive of efforts to raise awareness of the prevalence of hearing loss and the availability of assistance from audiologists. The Academy also supports the development of consumer-centric information that assists individuals in making decisions regarding the importance of the evaluative process and about amplification devices.